Drive-Thru Pedagogy

Pick up something practical.

SafeAssign as a Tool for Learning

Teaching the ethical use of sources in academic writing is a challenge. Some faculty address this issue by using SafeAssign, the "plagiarism prevention tool" integrated into Blackboard. When used with care, SafeAssign can (in its own words), “create opportunities to help students identify how to properly attribute sources.” In that sense, it can facilitate learning. However, when used strictly to monitor citation habits, SafeAssign can impede learning by raising student anxiety. ...

Keeping up with Social Changes in Second Language Acquisition

Despite the existence of excellent study abroad programs, traveling to another country is a privilege, at times, unaffordable. Consequently, the classroom becomes the only space for students to be exposed to socio-cultural issues. Nevertheless, traditional learning materials and pedagogical approaches in the field of Second Language Acquisition (SLA) often struggle to reflect the latest changes of the target culture in terms of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)....

Embrace Doubt, Enhance Teaching

The start of a new semester is a great time to examine your teaching practices. However, the temptation to fall back on what worked in the past represents both the need for efficiency and the power of habit. What if we approached our teaching with a healthy sense of doubt? What if we embraced our own cycles of learning as a pathway to refreshed teaching approaches?...

Students as Partners in Teaching & Learning

Many in education have seen the various equality vs. equity graphics circulated throughout professional development sessions. One has various animals that are all expected to climb a tree despite their differences in mobility. In another, children of different heights are trying to watch a baseball game behind a fence but the crates they stand on to gain a viewing advantage are all the same height. ...

Improve Student Writing with Peer Feedback

Peer feedback makes assignments more social and collaborative, creating opportunities for students to learn from one another. In conversations about shared assignments, students can make connections to lectures, readings, and other course elements. They can also use time in feedback groups to clarify the goals of the assignment and discover varied methods for fulfilling those goals. Collaborative learning helps mitigate the isolation some students feel when working independently. ...

The Power of a Good Story

Many of us rightly emphasize “critical reading” in our courses, helping students hone the tools they need to unpack and evaluate the storylines they encounter, whether in historical or contemporary texts, written or visual sources, scientists’ data or politicians’ campaigns. It’s also important, though, to get students thinking about what’s involved in producing the best possible stories, and this is something I’ve begun devoting more attention to in the COLL 100 course I regularly teach, “Things: Objects and Their (Hi)Stories.” The better a storyline, the greater an author’s chances of getting what s/he’s after, but it’s important to be clear about what we are—or should be—aiming for when we attempt to produce a good story....

Connecting with Students: Seeing Through a Performance Pedagogy Lens

Principles of Performance Pedagogy provide fundamental support for learning in any discipline. Performance Pedagogy values harnessing students' pre-existing strengths and their own collection of knowledge and unique experiences. In this post I discuss different perspectives we can bring to how we engage with students....

Teaching Statistics with House Shopping

Statistics is an extremely practical tool used in many business applications ranging from quality control in manufacturing, Netflix recommendations to Google ads. However, it is also an abstract topic that intimidates and frustrates many students. To help students learn and apply statistics more effectively, I asked them to go house shopping. Well, they just needed to pretend to buy a house. ...

Rethinking Student Assignments | Part 3: Multimodal Assignments – Structure vs. Choice

Websites, podcasts, videos, even the dreaded Powerpoint presentation, I’ve helped instructors develop assignments around all of these modes and more. When I first started, I admit that I didn’t quite know what I was doing. It wasn’t that I didn’t understand the theoretical principles involved in getting a particular multimodal assignment to work . It was that I’d never tried to implement specific methods in an actual class before. But, thanks to a few early adopter faculty members, I learned very quickly what worked, what didn’t work, and what had potential....

Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment

Many in education have seen the various equality vs. equity graphics circulated throughout professional development sessions. One has various animals that are all expected to climb a tree despite their differences in mobility. In another, children of different heights are trying to watch a baseball game behind a fence but the crates they stand on to gain a viewing advantage are all the same height. ...
Teaching Statistics with House Shopping

Teaching Statistics with House Shopping

Statistics is an extremely practical tool used in many business applications ranging from quality control in manufacturing, Netflix recommendations to Google ads. However, it is also an abstract topic that intimidates and frustrates many students. To help students learn and apply statistics more effectively, I asked them to go house shopping. Well, they just needed to pretend to buy a house. …

read more
Rethinking Student Assignments | Part 3: Multimodal Assignments – Structure vs. Choice

Rethinking Student Assignments | Part 3: Multimodal Assignments – Structure vs. Choice

Websites, podcasts, videos, even the dreaded Powerpoint presentation, I’ve helped instructors develop assignments around all of these modes and more. When I first started, I admit that I didn’t quite know what I was doing. It wasn’t that I didn’t understand the theoretical principles involved in getting a particular multimodal assignment to work . It was that I’d never tried to implement specific methods in an actual class before. But, thanks to a few early adopter faculty members, I learned very quickly what worked, what didn’t work, and what had potential….

read more
Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment

Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment

Many in education have seen the various equality vs. equity graphics circulated throughout professional development sessions. One has various animals that are all expected to climb a tree despite their differences in mobility. In another, children of different heights are trying to watch a baseball game behind a fence but the crates they stand on to gain a viewing advantage are all the same height. …

read more
Reframing accommodations on your syllabus

Reframing accommodations on your syllabus

The syllabus sets the tone for the course from the very first day — this is our opportunity to welcome all of our students! Welcoming students with disabilities reflects the William & Mary values of belonging, flourishing, and respect, but it can require reframing our stock legalistic language about accommodations….

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Rethinking Student Assignments | Part 2: How to think about Technical Skills

Rethinking Student Assignments | Part 2: How to think about Technical Skills

What skills do you want your students to develop when they create a multimodal project? If you’re assigning an essay, you’re probably hoping students will improve their writing. That same expectation should apply to a multimodal project. At some level, you want the students to be better producers (and consumers) of whatever medium they’re creating. There are many skill sets at play in any multimodal assignment. …

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